Price Hill woman takes action to beautify neighborhood while helping kids
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Ten years ago, Price Hill resident Patti Hogan identified a problem in her neighborhood. Instead of letting the problem go on, she took action.
Hogan is now a board member for the program she launched a decade ago, the Price Hill Safety Community Action Team (CAT).
The community program works to beautify Price Hill while also keeping kids out of trouble.
Each Saturday during the summer, the sounds of lawnmowers hum through the neighborhood. Making the music you hear are the neighborhood kids who are part of Saftey CAT. They come together to cut and clean up the lawns of vacant abandoned homes.
Hogan helps teach the kids how to work a lawn mower and landscape, and how to earn a dollar as they bring home $45 each week. As Hogan explains, the lesson is more than about money.
“We’re keeping them busy and then they’re giving back to the neighborhood by remediating some of the blight and in the process, we hope we’re teaching them values and character lessons as we go,” Hogan explains.
She also hopes she is teaching them to treasure their neighborhood as much as she does.
Hogan has lived in Price Hill all her life and spearheaded the Safety CAT to address a significant problem she was seeing in the community.
“We had a terrible problem with young kids standing on the street a lot of wrestling with drugs,” Hogan said.
Along with the drugs, Hogan says streets were filled with abandoned homes and overgrown grass.
Not wanting to move away, she thought about what she could do; attack the nuisance head-on.
While the retired systems analyst doesn’t have a background in teaching or lawn care, she is over-qualified in other ways.
“My background is I don’t mind sweating,” said Hogan. “My background is I love this neighborhood.”
That love has become contagious for the other children in the program.
Phillip Miller, who graduated from the 10-week summer program two years ago, now comes back to help mentor the other kids.
“This program, it helps you mold work as a team and also work on your individual personal growth,” explains Miller.
Hogan says her proudest moments are watching her graduates, like Miller, thrive and now working a full-time job.
“Streets can be tough,” Hogan said. “A lady stopped us while we were working and asked us what we were doing. She has a young son and doesn’t want to lose her kid to the street. That’s what we’re trying to do. Keep these kids from getting lost and making them understand education is so valuable. Character is important.”
After all of their hard work, the kids are treated to lunch where they can talk about anything they are going through and just have fun.
Hogan says they still have spaces open for anyone interested in getting their child involved, and they are always looking for volunteers.
This story is part of a weekly segment called Breaking Through.
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